Vitality’s 2019 healthy food forecast

    healthy food

    Keen to experiment more in the kitchen this year? Our food forecast is filled with healthy new ingredients and recipes tipped by experts to be huge in 2019.

    From unusual flavours (hemp oil, anyone?) to healthier cooking methods, there’s no shortage of weird and wonderful new healthy food trends to try in 2019. With a recent US study linking home cooking and experimenting in the kitchen to a healthier diet overall, there’s no better time to try something new.

    1. Hemp-based products

    Hemp is one of the most sustainable plants on the planet and the seeds are packed full of protein and omega-3, according to pioneering foodie brand Good Hemp. With CBD oil in the headlines and increasing numbers of people trying hemp-based products, it’s no surprise the food industry is catching on. Add tasty hemp seeds to your porridge or smoothie, or try hemp oil in a salad dressing. The flavour is light and earthy.

    2. Pandan leaf

    Hailed as the “new matcha” by Nigella Lawson, pandan is the new healthy food to hit our plates in 2019. The fragrant sweet leaf is vivid green in colour and a popular ingredient in curries and sweets across Southeast Asia. Find the fresh leaves in Asian food stores, while pandan essence and paste are available online. Try it in everything from cakes to your tea.

    3. Sustainable food packaging

    As a nation, we’re thinking more about how sustainability spans an entire product lifecycle and 2019 will see a huge focus on food packaging. Following bans on plastic bags and straws, according to market researcher Mintel’s Global Food and Drink Trends 2019 Report more supermarkets will introduce ‘Bring Your Own Vegetable Bag’ schemes. There will be a surge in sales of beeswax food wraps as a more sustainable cling film swap as well as plant-made water bottles.

    4. West African foods

    The delicious, vibrant and spicy dishes of West Africa are about to become the next big trend. One-pot meals such as tangy chicken yassa and jollof rice are perfect dinner dishes to add to your roster. You’ll love them for their big-impact flavour as they’re packed with gut-loving spices such as ginger and garlic, vitamin C-rich Scotch bonnet peppers and plenty of veg.

    5. Vegan ice cream

    According to trend leader Eater, the golden age of vegan ice cream is here, with non-dairy ice cream predicted to be worth over $1 billion by 2024. Cashew and coconut are the most popular replacements for cream in ice cream, which can help reduce the saturated fat content. Look out for bold flavours such as kombucha, strawberry and Sichuan pepper and of course, avocado.

    6. Flash-frozen foods

    More of us are turning to frozen healthy food as a convenient, nutrient-rich option that also help us cut down on food waste. However, new flash-freeze technology has recently launched. This involves freezing foods at an extremely low temperature in air-tight packaging, which seals in all the nutrients and helps food stay fresher for much longer. Look out for new products hitting supermarket shelves soon.

    7. ‘Nootropics’

    According to Mintel’s 2019 report, we’ll see a surge in a new group of supplements called ‘nootropics’. With more of us taking an active interest in our long-term health, these will include L-theanine, B-vitamins, choline and omega-3s that claim to boost our brain power, focus, alertness and general wellbeing. Just be sure to talk to your pharmacist or GP before trying new supplements.

    8. The evolution of children’s snacks

    2019 will see plenty of innovations in the snacks we eat (including seaweed!), but kid’s snacks will get their own makeover too, according to food tech company Fresh Direct. Brands are creating snack bars, jerky and crackers in more child-friendly flavours and textures – bringing nutritious bites to the younger market. Ocado are already offering energy balls and veggie straws for little ones to munch.

    9. Sous-vide at home

    With new advances in food tech, sous-vide gadgets will go mainstream in 2019. Already beloved by chefs, this method of cooking involves vacuum-sealing food such as meat or vegetables in a bag. Then, cooking to a precise temperature in a water bath – eliminating the need for less healthy ingredients such as oil or butter. Products such as ChefSteps’ Joule Sous Vide machine continue to be high-budget but could transform the way you cook at home.

    10. Inflammation-reducing foods

    Now that we know that inflammation is linked to issues such as diabetes and digestive problems, more of us looking to healthy food and drink to help us reduce this. As a result, more products will feature ginger, turmeric, green tea extract and medicinal mushrooms.

    11. Seed butters

    According to snack bar company Kind’s latest food report, seed butters will become as big as nut butters in the New Year. Using sunflower, pumpkin or even watermelon seeds, the finished product is a protein-rich spread that contains healthy unsaturated fats. Although, like any food group – everything in moderation!

    Now that you know what’s on the food horizon for 2019, have a look at our 2019 Fitness Forecast.

    As a Vitality member, you could get up to 25% cashback on Waitrose & Partners Good Health food when you get active. If you have a second eligible health insurance or life insurance plan, you could get up to 40% cashback. Excludes beverages. Log in to Member Zone for the details.